Nutritional physiology of duikers: a synthesis


Shipley LA. 2005. Nutritional physiology of duikers: a synthesis. In Graffam W, Hellinga D, Maslanka M, Ward A, Eds. Proceedings of the Sixth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Omaha, NE.


Duikers (Cephalophus and Sylvicapra spp) form a guild of small antelope inhabiting the forests of sub-Saharan Africa. Local duiker communities are diverse, with 17 species ranging 10-fold in body mass (3 – 80 kg). Duikers can be adversely affected by forest management and hunting, thus 15 species are listed in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature red list of threatened animals. Duikers are known for their largely fruit diets, and are classified as concentrate selectors according to ruminant feeding strategy scheme of Hofmann. Because small ruminants (< 15 kg) have a high ratio of metabolic rate to fermentation capacity, they are expected to select and require low-fiber, nutrient dense concentrate diets.

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